*"As a Qatari, it was great to see so many nationalities at a local match and it made me wonder how amazing it will be in 2022 when there are nationalities from across the globe"
More than 1,000 volunteers from Qatar and across the region helped ensure the Amir Cup final, the first match to be played at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah City, was a tremendous success. Ahead of the game on May 16, volunteers attended training sessions at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) to ensure they were well prepared for the match regarded as a milestone on the road to 2022.
On the night, volunteers contributed to the successful running of various operations, including event management, hospitality, marketing, communications, audience management, security and medical services.
The SC's Community Engagement Manager Mead al-Emadi praised the volunteers and said they would play a vital role in helping Qatar deliver an outstanding FIFA World Cup in three years' time. "Our huge thanks to each and every volunteer, they all displayed great commitment and enthusiasm," said al-Emadi."We have more milestones to come this year and many more on the road to 2022 and I look forward to our volunteers continuing to play an important role throughout the delivery of these milestones."
Al-Emadi said the SC remained committed to engaging both local and regional volunteers in the lead-up to 2022. "It is important to engage volunteers in these early stages. It not only gives them a glimpse of what to expect in 2022 but also prepares them and us for the exciting challenges ahead. They are a key part of helping us deliver a smooth fan experience and occasions like this give us the opportunity to put our training into practice and ensure we and our volunteers are well prepared."
For the volunteers themselves, it was an unforgettable night, with the launch of the second Qatar 2022 tournament venue stoking their excitement ahead of world football's premier event heading to these shores. Mgdeldin Mohamed, from Qatar, said: "The night exceeded my expectations to be volunteering at an event where His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is present and the FIFA President Gianni Infantino, you just feel like your hard work has paid off. I would love to do this again."
Mohamed added: "Volunteering here has added a lot to my experience in terms of knowledge, managing relationships, understanding and appreciating the need to be flexible. Like in most events like this, sometimes there are last minute adjustments so you have to be adaptable and be able to think on your feet."
Latifa al-Darwish, from Qatar, said: "The atmosphere and the vibe inside the stadium was better than I expected. It felt like it is was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. "Before the event, more than 1,000 volunteers seemed like a lot, but when we were in the stadium, you realise it's not that many when there are 40,000 spectators! Also, as a Qatari, it was great to see so many nationalities at a local match and it made me wonder how amazing it will be in 2022 when there are nationalities from across the globe." she added.
Hundreds of volunteers travelled to Qatar especially for the game, which provided a memorable experience. Zahir al-Ismaili, from Oman, said: "As someone from a nearby country, I am very proud to be here at the new stadium and to have this opportunity to participate. "I saw Qatar play and win in the AFC tournament earlier this year and that was historical, now to be a part of this history is incredible."
Mashal Abdullah, from Kuwait, said: "I am so happy to be a part of this huge and important event and to be representing my country on such a historical occasion."
More than 265,000 people from across the world have so far registered their interest in joining the SCs volunteering programme and supporting our efforts on the road to 2022.
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